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Lewis Edward Lawes
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Birth: Sep. 13, 1883
Chemung County
New York, USA
Death: Apr. 23, 1947
Putnam County
New York, USA

FAG #48068800 provided Lewis' middle name.

FAG #47731674 provided the following info:
Lewis Edward Lawes was a prison warden and a proponent of prison reform. During his twenty-one year tenure at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, he supervised the executions of 303 prisoners.

Lawes was the only child of Harry (or Henry) Lewis Lawes and Sarah M. Abbott. His father worked as a prison guard at the New York State Reformatory, now called the Elmira Correctional Facility.

Lawes ran away at seventeen and joined the United States Coast Artillery. Afterwards, he worked at an insurance company before beginning his prison career as a guard at Clinton Prison in Dannemora, New York on March 1, 1905. On September 30, 1905, he married Kathryn Stanley. He subsequently worked at first Auburn Prison, then Elmira Reformatory. In March 1915 he was named Superintendent of the City Reformatory on Hart Island in New York City. Lawes became warden of the Massachusetts State Prison in 1918. Governor Alfred E. Smith asked him to take over as Warden of Sing Sing. Lawes took charge on January 1, 1920.

He was featured on the cover and in an article of Time magazine issue of November 18, 1929. (see Photos)

His wife, Kathryn died on October 31, 1937 at Ossining Hospital after she fell at the Cortlandt, New York end of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The heel of her shoe was caught between two boards and it caused her to fall and break her leg. She wasn't found until nighttime and she died from hypothermia.

He remained at his post as Warden of Sing Sing for twenty-one years, instituting reforms, until he retired on July 16, 1941. He was replaced by Robert J. Kirby. Upon his retirement, he became the president of the Boy Rangers of America.

Lawes wrote several books. Several of his works were made into films. His most famous book, Twenty Thousand Years in Sing Sing, was made into a 1932 movie under the same title, starring Spencer TracyJohn GarfieldGeorge Raft, was based on his novel of the same name, while Humphrey Bogart starred in You Can't Get Away with Murder in 1939, an adaptation of Chalked Out, a play Lawes co-wrote.

Lawes died at his home of a cerebral hemorrhage. His papers are archived in the Special Collections of the Lloyd Sealy Library, John Jay College of Criminal Justice 
Family links: 
  Harry L Lawes (1862 - 1925)
  Sarah M Lawes (1863 - 1938)
  Kathryn L Stanley Lawes (1885 - 1937)
  Elise Chisholm Lawes (1903 - 1972)
  Kathleen Lawes Miller (____ - 1989)*
  Crystal Lawes Douvarjo (1912 - 1967)*
*Calculated relationship
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Sleepy Hollow
Westchester County
New York, USA
Plot: Section 78
Created by: Marie Bonafonte
Record added: Dec 29, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 63469100
Lewis Edward Lawes
Added by: Creative Commons
Lewis Edward Lawes
Added by: Marie Bonafonte
Lewis Edward Lawes
Added by: Marie Bonafonte
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I lay a rose for one of the pioneers of Prison Reform.
- S.H. DeLong
 Added: Jan. 6, 2017

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